Archive for June 2013

LIVING WITH ADVERSITY!

June 26, 2013

“He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (John 15:2, NIV)

John 15_2

King David was one of Israel’s greatest kings. As he prepared for his “promotion”, his life was filled with adversity. It may have seemed really strange to him, since his relationship to the king (Saul) began with two very positive events – his place as a court attendant and his slaying of Goliath. Yet the relationship was filled with hardship. Even so, David stuck it out until it finally paid off!

Similarly, when we rely on Jesus to lead us in the direction He would like our lives to go, the hardship we experience can become our helper. Hardships are an unavoidable part of following Christ, like it or not. When Christ finds something in us that isn’t bearing fruit, He will take it away. Likewise, when we are living for Him and bringing glory to the Father, He will continue to develop us in ways that will bring Him the honor and glory that He deserves.

Early in my career, I had jobs that I really didn’t enjoy. Yet God placed me there to gain experience. In some cases that experience turned out to be spiritual and not job related at all. In other situations, God was teaching me to be patient and to accept His leading. Looking back, I’m glad I gave in to God – that’s not always easy. The reward comes when God’s compassionate, yet firm determination, develops us toward spiritual, moral, and mental maturity.

When Christ asserts His Lordship by allowing adversity in our lives, how will we respond? David was talented and capable from the beginning, but he couldn’t become king until he’d gained more life experience. He may have thought he was ready, but God was preparing him. He followed the Lord and waited for his time to arrive. Through it all, God’s Word and God’s ways became more and more alive in his heart. He accepted Christ’s leading, even with all the adversity, and trusted God with His future. May we react likewise?

adversity

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!

WORK MATTERS!

June 24, 2013

“I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” (Ephesians 4:1, NIV)

Ephesians 41

Paul tells us to live a life worthy of the vocation we have received. This statement implies three things to me.

First, the calling of God on your life can be in your workplace – flipping burgers or heading up the boardroom. It isn’t necessary for all of us to be working as paid professional ministers. Thank God for those who are, but thank God we are not all called to do the same thing.

Second, our vocations are important to the Lord. Too many Christians think their only purpose for being in the business world is to become a “cash cow” for Christ. Granted, more income means you can and should give more, but there is so much more to being a Christian than just paying your tithes and offerings. It is an opportunity for you to mentor, disciple (or at least model) the Christian life as an example to others. It is also a place where you can excel by learning how to apply Biblical principles and strategies to your life. When you excel, you gain a platform from which to glorify Christ to a broader audience.

Third, we are to live our lives in ways that bring worth and credit to our vocation. We are not to bring a criticism to the name of Christ in the way we conduct our vocation, but rather honor. So let us choose to walk worthy of the vocation God has called us to and, in so doing, glorify Him!

Work Matters

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!

FEAR THE LORD, BUT DON’T BE AFRAID!

June 20, 2013

“… what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul …” (Deuteronomy 10:12, NIV)

Fear the Lord

Although Scripture uses the word “fear,” God doesn’t want us to be afraid of Him. Instead, He wants us to realize how magnificent, awe-inspiring, and deserving of our worship He is.

Interestingly, knowing that God desires our worship also helps us understand just how special we are to Him. This can lead us into a more active relationship with Him. God always expresses His love in an action toward us, and He desires that we return our loving expressions in action. He wants us to trust in His leading and follow the commands He has given for our lives.

God’s love, coupled with our sense of awe and reverence, leads us into action. Perhaps you’ve only recently come to know about God’s grace revealed through Jesus Christ. Perhaps you’ve been His devoted follower for years. Or perhaps you’re just looking for a fresh experience with God in your life. Wherever you are in your relationship with Him, take action today. Express your “fear of the Lord”.

Don’t be afraid; go for it! He is worthy of our worship!

Worthy is the Lamb

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!

ARE YOU TOO BUSY?

June 19, 2013

“I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship, to make artistic designs for work of gold, silver, and bronze.”  (Exodus 31:3-4, NIV)

Staying Busy

Work should never be about staying busy. Instead, it is about fulfilling an assignment from God.

God’s world is not a world of laziness. Work is an important part of God’s design for humanity. Why? Because God is a God of work. God is always active. If we are fulfilling our intended design, we will be active for His purposes. God wants to put us to work for Him right where we are.

God has assigned the work that He wants us to do. God doesn’t ask us to write our own job descriptions. He knows exactly where and when He wants to use us for His purposes. All He asks is that we turn the details over to Him.

One of the pleasures of following Jesus is that we do not have to interview for our job. He already knows our skills. He already knows the training programs that we need. He places us strategically in the job that best fits our needs and His. Today we could be flipping burgers at McDonald’s. Tomorrow we may be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. God will put us where He wants us when we are ready, and not before. The question we should be asking is not, “What should I do?” but rather “How should I serve where I am?”

Work is divinely ordained. The Spirit of God fills us for the purposes He wants us to carry out. We can always undermine those purposes and destroy our assignment, but that isn’t God’s fault.

So, take a step back from the busyness of your work life and tell yourself, “God put me where I am for a purpose – His purpose. He wants me to learn how to serve right where I am.”

Now take a close look at your job. Quit being so busy that you forget where you are and who placed you there!

Serve Him

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!

HE’S JUST A PRAYER AWAY!

June 18, 2013

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24, NIV)

NEW SELF

Although many of us have been taught to model ourselves after Jesus, something comes up during the day – our boss tells us we are no longer needed and has to let us go, one of our customers decides to switch to our biggest competitor, our boss asks us to do something that is immoral and against our best judgment – and just like that, we forget that we belong to Christ. We blow up. We say things that sound as if they come directly from Satan’s mouth, not ours. We spew profanity. We take our frustrations home with us. We take them out on our spouse and our children. What started out as a normal, productive day at work, turned into misery for the entire family. And, when it’s all said and done, nobody feels worse than we do.

“I try so hard to live as Jesus did. It’s impossible. He was perfect; I’m not. There’s no sense in trying any more. I’m tired of it. I’m going back to my old way of life.”

Have you ever felt that way? I have. I even tried going back to my former way of life. What a mistake! It didn’t take long to realize that the Bible is right. Once we have been taught the way Jesus wants us to live, it is impossible to be satisfied with any other way of life.

We’re human beings. We’re going to fail. We’re going to experience disappointments and frustrations – sometimes on a daily basis. But as Christians, we have something special living within us. The Holy Spirit is eager to step in when we fall down. It’s through Him that we are “made new in the attitude of our minds.” It’s through Him that we able to “put on the new self” and live our lives as Jesus did – “in true righteousness and holiness.”

Experiencing that kind of change doesn’t just magically happen. We need to be “in tune” with the Holy Spirit. We have to quit trying to do things on our own and ask Him to be a part of our lives – not just when we are in trouble, but all the time! We need to include Him in everything we do. He needs to be the most accessible “person” in our lives – our best friend.

Take a little time this morning to spend with Him and to feel His presence. When things seem to be slipping away, know that He is just a prayer away!

PRAYER

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!

THANKS FOR THE WORDPRESS FAMILY AWARD

June 16, 2013

Sweet Rains and One Starving Activist were kind enough to nominate me for The WordPress Family Award.  I have been blessed by their love for Jesus, their humble hearts, and their encouragement to me.  Thank you for accepting me into your blogging family!

Wordpress Family Award

To accept this award, one of the requirements is to nominate ten other bloggers for this prestigious award.

Here are my nominees:

Growing in Jesus
A Journey of Faith
Moment by Moment
This Day With God
Garden2Day
Morning Story and Dilbert
Unshakable Hope
billiescauldron
The Call of the Pen

If you choose to pass on this award, here are the rules:
1. Display the award logo on your blog.
2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
3. Nominate 10 others you see as having an impact on your WordPress experience and family.
4. Let your 10 Family members know you have awarded them.
5. That is it. Just please pick 10 people that have taken you as a friend, and spread the love.

Thank you to everyone, bloggers and non-bloggers, who have ‘Liked’, commented, and followed me.  I am truly honored and blessed by your encouragement and support! God bless each of you!

ARE YOU FRUSTRATED?

June 14, 2013

“People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”  (1 Samuel 16:7, NIV)

appearance

What a relief that God sees everything – including our frustrations! He already knows our work situations. He also knows what we’re thinking. So in dealing with frustrations, it’s important to make sure we aren’t complaining just for the sake of complaining.

Our frustrations may provoke us to blame other people or other organizations. They may tempt us into a ‘so what, I don’t care’ kind of attitude.

A better alternative is to ask the Lord to check our motives and thoughts. Since He already knows them, He won’t be surprised if there is something wrong. Ask Him to help you deal with anything that needs attention. If the problem is still there afterwards, face it as a reality. Remember, Jesus dealt with realities including physical and emotional tiredness, living with only the bare necessities, powerful opponents, and unjust arrest and conviction. He has experience. Ask Him to direct you.

Lining up our hearts with the Lord is a spiritual reality check. Practice the following simple steps:

  • Instead of complaining or grumbling, find things to be thankful for.
  • Do the best job you can – people notice, whether they show it or not.
  • Pray! Stay as close to God as possible. Pray on your way to work, pray when you get there, pray throughout the day, and pray on your way home. Pray, pray, pray!

Done with a good heart, these practices will help ease the day’s frustrations. Practice them, learn them, and keep doing them until they are second nature to you.

Frustrations are part of everyone’s life. They are a reality. Even Jesus faced them. When they enter your life, take a deep breath and ask the Holy Spirit to help you through. He loves it – and is never bothered – when we call on Him to help us solve our problems!

frustration

God bless you and enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!


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